On the eve of a long weekend when I know so little of my time will be spent at home, I present “Home,” my homage to the sanctuary and hive of life that sustains my soul in so many ways. “Home” expands upon the sterile dictionary definition of home, birthed out of a five-word poetry challenge I presented to my AP English Literature students three years ago. I gave the class an abstract noun, a proper noun, an adverb, an adjective, and a verb that could be used multiple ways. After that, it was up to them. No restrictions on form. The words for this week were home, Washington’s crossing, equivocally, vacuous, and (I believe) labor.


vincent h. anastasi (2017)

A casual Google search proposes
home is
“a place where one lives permanently,
especially as a member of a family,”
or, in a darker iteration,
“an institution for people
needing professional care or supervision.”

Vacuous as an abandoned hive –
    “the mass of hexagonal prismatic wax cells”
sans bees, sans larva, sans honey
sans everything
such definitions sterilize
and equivocally categorize
(too neatly, too simply)
the churning chaos,
    the recurrent spills,
    the bubbling cacophony,
    the persistent reminder of entropy,
    the conflict of wills,
    tyranny of the urgent,
    iron sharpening iron,
    mice vandalizing the pantry,
    or clogged toilets:
the untidiness of life lived.

One can only imagine
the frostbitten thoughts of those men
    estranged from life’s domestic challenges
muscling their way
through Leutze’s frozen Delaware,
laboring at the oars,
minds straining under the pressure
of winter, fatigue, and defeat;
this was Washington’s crossing –
    “victory or death”
– this was the Christmas gift
given to generations,
the persistent reminder

that home is worth
    the difficulty of the crossing,
    the messiness of the living,
    the churning chaos,
    the bubbling cacophony
    or just your son’s spilled milk
        spreading across the floor,
proof that life exists
in more than just a place,
outside of any institution,
that we define as

2 thoughts on ““Home”

  1. Ah, we are the absolute epitome of the “untidiness of a life lived.” In the midst of the churning chaos I pray that that living is worthy of Him!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s